Vincent’s blog: Investing is simple… but not easy

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How many times have I stood in front of a painting that looked like someone had thrown a bucket of random colored paint on a canvas while a three year old ran amok with a broom? Wow: “This painting is worth $90M”. This is simple. I can do this.

How many times have I read of a new service, like Netflix or Amazon and went “aaaaah: why didn’t I think of that?”. I mean books and movies, really! C’mon this cannot be that difficult. Those companies are now worth sooooo much money. This is simple. I can do this.

How many times have I read about a new diet promoted by a very fit model as the new, new, new thing. My friends are doing it and say it’s great. I should try it. Within twelve months, I will look like a super star. Just follow the diet. This is simple. I can do this.

How many times have I read and heard the successful investors’ secret: “Buy low and Sell high”. Successful investors have done this for ages. I do not need to know more, just follow this rule. This is simple. I can do this…

… or not? Why am I so bad? I did not make that modern painting. I did not start a new company selling pizzas online. The only virtual success is my diet because, in real life, I still grab five chocolate cookies per serving. Oh yes and this thing about buying low and selling high…. well, you see I keep up with current news and have many friends with strong opinions. They say the market is high and when it was low what was I suppose to do with headlines screaming like they did it in 2008: “Nightmare on Wall Street”; “Crash of 2008, no end in sight”; “Crisis compleet”; “Der Krach bleibt”; C’est la fin”. It is not easy man, not easy at all.

Few people will say I miss discipline and wait too long to take action. Few people tell me to turn off the noise, to read a book instead of the current headlines. Few people tell me to listen to advice tested by practice, not by TV heads, dreamy academics and/or friends who mean well but know little. Few people tell me to breathe, be disciplined and take action with a long-term view. I should really listen more to few. It would make my life simpler.

This is simple. I can do this.